Strengthening Ties Between Mongolia and Switzerland Through Museum Collaboration

Local news, 02.02.2024

In a significant stride toward cultural exchange and knowledge enrichment, the Department of Culture and Arts, an implementing agency of the Government of Mongolia, and the renowned Rietberg Museum of Zurich, Switzerland, signed a memorandum of cooperation on June 3, 2022. 

Museum delegation in Switzerland
Museum delegation in Switzerland ©Rietberg museum

This collaboration aimed to foster a deepening understanding of cultural heritage, facilitate staff capacity building, and promote joint exhibitions and educational initiatives. The memorandum outlined the comprehensive scope of collaboration between the Department of Culture and Arts and the Rietberg Museum. Both parties committed to working together on various aspects of museum activities, including enhancing the capacities of museum staff, organizing joint exhibitions, conducting conferences and workshops, and facilitating the exchange of peer experts, curators, scientists, and trainers.

By the end of 2023, thanks to the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, cultural and museum professionals from Mongolia had the opportunity to learn from the rich experiences of museums in Geneva, Bern, and Zurich. Exposure to Swiss museum trends, new concepts, and best practices has significantly contributed to enriching knowledge and skills among Mongolian cultural and museum experts.

The collaborative visits led to valuable insights, with participants highlighting the adoption of energy-efficient lighting systems, using environmentally sustainable materials, and incorporating green technologies. These practices not only reduce environmental impact but also contribute to cost-effectiveness in museum operations.

Looking ahead, collaborative efforts are set to continue with training courses in 2024-2025 for curators, restorers, and education staff. Additionally, an exhibition at the Chinggis Khaan National Museum is on the agenda, showcasing the application of newfound knowledge and skills. The collaboration also extends to a grand exhibition at the Rietberg Museum from October 2025 to March 2026, with subsequent displays in major museums across Western Europe and globally.

A significant milestone outlined in the memorandum is a joint exhibition featuring the participation of prominent Mongolian institutions, such as the Chinggis Khaan National Museum, the National Museum of Mongolia, the Kharkhorum Museum, and the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia. This exhibition aims to narrate Mongolia’s history and contemporary image, highlighting its pivotal role in Eurasian culture and trade from the Hun Dynasty to the Mongol Empire.

The Rietberg Museum, recognized as the largest art museum in Switzerland, boasts a remarkable collection of traditional and modern art and cultural heritage from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and beyond. With approximately 23,000 artifacts and over 37,000 ethnographic photographs, the museum stands as a testament to the diverse and interconnected nature of global cultures.

This collaborative venture between the Department of Culture and Arts in Mongolia and the Rietberg Museum in Switzerland signifies a powerful synergy between two cultures. As the exchange of knowledge and experience continues, these joint efforts are set to strengthen cultural ties, promote understanding, and celebrate Mongolia’s rich history and heritage on the global stage.